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Nebraska State Fair director stepping down from position amid investigation

NE State Fair.JPG
Posted at 5:32 AM, Mar 30, 2020

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska State Fair’s executive director is stepping down and will serve as a consultant for the rest of her contract, which runs through next January.

The State Fair Board voted Friday to accept Lori Cox’s departure after running the event for two years.

Cox, who was named the fair’s executive director in January 2018, took a medical leave of absence starting March 13.

The fair board said Cox discovered and reported instances of potential waste and financial mismanagement during her tenure, and her knowledge of the situation could be helpful to investigators.
Beth Smith, chairwoman of the Fair Board, said during the meeting that there is an ongoing investigation into possible irregularities involving State Fair finances.

The fair board approved a budget at a Nov. 22 meeting during which members learned the 2019 fair lost a projected $1.4 million. Eight fair employees lost their jobs in December as fair officials took steps to firm up finances.

The board voted to make Jaime Parr, the fair’s director of sales, the interim director.